Bioinformatics Programmer / Research Associate

Variant Bio

Variant Bio

Software Engineering
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Variant Bio is a Seattle-based biotech company entering a rapid growth stage having closed a $105mm Series B financing in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company was started because we believe that human genetics has the power to transform drug development. We are working towards developing therapies to improve global health by studying the genes of people who are outliers for medically relevant traits. To facilitate this, we have built proprietary genomics and phenotyping platforms that allow us to dramatically reduce the cost of genomic studies and identify genetically-validated targets for therapeutic development.

Our team of geneticists, medical researchers, biologists and drug hunters continue to advance multiple projects through internal target validation and lead optimization efforts in relentless pursuit of translating human genetic insights into life-saving therapies.

All of our studies are co-designed with local partners: community groups, academics, and hospitals around the world, and we built Variant Bio from the ground up with ethics at its foundation. We recognize the contribution of our partners through an industry leading benefit-sharing program that dedicates 4% of our revenue and equity value to support local healthcare, sustainable development, education, research, and capacity-building initiatives. Through the Affordable Medicines Pledge we acknowledge that the communities who contributed data that led to the discovery of these new drugs have an equal and reciprocal right to share in the benefits, both financial and social.

Variant Bio is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Job Description

We are looking for a bioinformatician with expertise developing and running computational pipelines to study human genomic and transcriptomic data. The ideal candidate should have a strong foundation in pipeline development, ideally some hands-on experience with AWS, as well as experience analyzing large-scale, whole-genome, and transcriptome data sets. The candidate will be part of a growing team of computational biologists with expertise spanning bioinformatics, statistical genetics, population genomics, and functional genomics. We encourage candidates who are passionate about increasing the inclusion of underrepresented populations in genomic research to apply, as this is a core mission of Variant Bio.


  • Run, maintain, and add to bioinformatics methods and workflows for analysis of large-scale data using AWS cloud compute.
  • Process and analyze whole genome and exome sequencing data from diverse populations, including variant calling, imputation, and extensive quality control.
  • Process and analyze bulk and single-cell transcriptomic data, including expression quantification, splicing quantification, and differential expression analysis.
  • Work with software engineers and cloud architects to automate workflows and build robust infrastructure.
  • Disseminate results internally and contribute to presentations and publications.


  • Masters degree with 2+ years, or Bachelors degree with 4+ years of relevant work experience in bioinformatics, computational biology, statistics, computer science, or a related field.
  • Experience processing large-scale WGS data using standard bioinformatics software packages, such as FASTQC, BWA, GATK, samtools, bedtools, bcftools, etc. Experience working with RNA-seq data and relevant software packages is a plus.
  • Strong programming skills and experience with high performance computing; proficiency in bash, Python, R; experience programming in Java/C++ preferred.
  • Experience with cloud-based computing on AWS; hands-on experience with AWS Batch, ECR, Cloud Formation preferred.
  • Experience with Nextflow on AWS Batch a plus. Familiarity programmatically interfacing with relational databases such as MySQL.
  • Software development experience using e.g. git and Docker; Good working knowledge of public human genomic resources, such as the 1000 Genomes Project, the Human Genome Diversity Project, gnomAD, the UK Biobank and other biobanks.
  • Publication record in the field of genomics a plus; Independent, creative, detail-oriented, and a critical thinker. Compelled by the company’s mission of great science, a strong ethical stance, and benefit sharing.

What We Offer

  • Opportunity to be part of a startup entering a rapid growth phase grounded in ethics.
  • Competitive salary and equity packages as well as a 401(k) plan that includes an automatic 3% employer contribution.
  • Comprehensive benefits including medical, dental and vision with 100% of monthly employee premiums paid for by the company.
  • Flexible paid time off to help employees obtain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Company paid professional development opportunities to encourage career progression.
  • Orca Card provided by the company for work related transportation.
  • Centrally located Eastlake, Seattle location in a new Alexandria building with modern facilities, including a gym.

Anticipated annual base salary for this position is $90,000 - $120,000 plus up to 10% bonus and an options package, for total compensation of up to $99,000 - $132,000, plus equity options.

The annual salary range above is based on the responsibilities and qualifications listed above. Individual salary will depend on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.

Don't meet every single requirement but are excited to join the Variant Bio team? If your past experience doesn't align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may still be the right candidate for this or other roles.